Kingston University’s School of Education has received a glowing report card from undergraduates completing its teacher training degree. Their responses to the latest National Student Survey, which monitors satisfaction with university courses, have led to the School being rated the best in the United Kingdom for the quality of its BA(Hons) in Primary Teaching.
Final year students completing the annual survey were asked to evaluate the teaching; assessment and feedback; academic support; organisation and management; learning resources and opportunities for personal development available to them during their time at Kingston. They were also asked to grade their overall satisfaction with their course – and gave the teacher training degree 4.6 out of the maximum 5.0 available. The feedback saw Kingston carry off top honours in the teacher training category along with Trinity and All Saints College in Leeds.
Kingston also chalked up a second survey success. It was ranked fifth in the country for education studies – the classification covering the Early Years Foundation Degrees it runs in partnership with Kingston, NESCOT, Richmond upon Thames, Spelthorne and West Thames Colleges and the Whitefields Schools and Centre in North East London. Students awarded that course an overall satisfaction rating of 4.3.
Year 3 leader Sue Hiley attributes Kingston’s teacher training success to the emphasis staff place on both academic excellence and creating a strong sense of community on campus. “We make a point of getting to know all our undergraduates by name and spend a lot of time with them discussing their progress and giving them the guidance they need to achieve their goals,” Ms Hiley said. Close links with schools in the surrounding area also play an important part in the students’ professional development. They spend a total of 24 weeks perfecting their teaching technique in classrooms across the borough, 12 of which are in their final year.
Kingston’s School of Education, which is part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has produced a string of high-achieving graduates. Last year, alumna Anita Maynard, who is now a member of staff at Tolworth Infant School, was named winner of the Teacher Training Agency Award for Outstanding New Teacher in London.
Pupils in Years 5 and 6 at Portsmouth’s Cottage Grove Primary School are also reaping the rewards of having one of Kingston’s most recent graduates leading lessons. Their new teacher, Cathy Tlili, was so convinced the University’s teacher training degree would be the perfect qualification to launch her classroom career that she commuted to lectures at Kingston from her home in the south coast city every day. “The Kingston course was very interactive and gave me plenty of opportunity to put the theory I had been learning into practice teaching different year groups at local schools,” Mrs Tlili said. “I believe that experience has definitely left me better prepared to deal with the demands of school life as I settle in to my first job.”
Head of the School of Education Andy Hudson said the outcome of the National Student Survey reinforced Kingston’s reputation as a leading provider of teacher training. “We take enormous pride in the high quality of teaching and personal support we deliver to ensure students at Kingston are equipped to become the best possible teachers of the future,” he said. “These exceptional results confirm just how much they value our investment in them and the professionalism of all the staff involved in their education.”